Where does your treasure really lie?
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As a student Ted, was the personification of “bright eyed and bushy tailed.” Ted loved school. He was a punctual, assignments on time, and homework perfect kind of student. Good marks came easily for Ted. He told me privately that his goal was to be a top official of a major corporation by the time his was forty. From his daily work ethic, I didn’t doubt Ted for one moment.
Chosen as his high school valedictorian, Ted graduated with top honors. Success followed Ted through his university years. After his commencement, he quickly signed with BP Petroleum where he rose rapidly through their ranks.
When Ted turned thirty-eight, he become the youngest vice-president in the company’s history. Life proceeded at a dreamy pace. Ted a had a lovely wife, Ellen, two daughters, Marge and Michele, plus a young son, Teddy Jr.
But as hard driven Ted senior was, he was not finished. He still had steps to climb. This was always said under the guise, “It was all for my family and their future.” What Ted was not facing were his absences from family activities, especially for his children.
While he was away traveling to meetings, delivering papers, solving problems in distant countries and making a name for himself in the company, Ted missed Marge’s crucial tennis matches, Michele’s gracious ballet performances, and his son’s vigorous soccer triumphs.
Ted justified these absences by reminding himself that what he was doing was for the children. One day they would appreciate him for these absences, he thought. Each time he had to tell his disappointed children why he had to miss their events. He consoled himself with this excuse, “I am doing this for them!”
One day, while at a meeting, he received a serious call from Ellen. Teddy, their son now fourteen, was in intensive care at St. Francis hospital. He had attempted suicide and left a note reading simply, “Because no one cared.”
Ted was crushed. “How could Teddy think this? Doesn’t he know I love him more than life itself? My whole life is lived for them. I love them so very much.” These were his thoughts as he dashed to the hospital.
Teddy only wanted only his father, not his work hours. Teddy wanted simply to look up at games and see his father’s proud face or his proud smiles at the annual sports banquets. Teddy exceled only to show his father that he, his son, loved him. But his father was never there. Like two ships passing in the night, they rarely saw each other.
Ted chose to love his family in a manner comfortable for him, but he never checked in with those he loved. If he had, he would’ve discovered his son’s feelings of loneliness and isolation. In his heart Teddy, felt his father just didn’t care.
Teddy survived and at last Ted and his father shared their true feelings. Ted got the message, becoming a present father solicitous not only for Teddy, but his wife Ellen and their beautiful daughters. Work no longer replaced family quality time. Ted’s family became the sought-after real treasures of Ted’s life from that moment on.
Where your treasure is there your heart is also!